Eight years may seem like a long time but for architect and cultural arts influencer Neil Hall, 72 months is not nearly long enough to promote the generous contributions of the Black diaspora, which dates to the beginning of time.
Hall’s inaugural Art Africa Miami Arts Fair (AAMAF) opening was purposefully established in Historic Overtown in 2011, setting a precedent as the largest showcase of contemporary artists from the African Diaspora during Art Basel.
This year’s theme confronts all stereotypes and forms of ignorance with a bold statement: “Black Art Matters: It’s Not A Choice.” The Art Africa Miami Arts Fair takes place at 919 and 920 NW 2nd Ave. in Miami, Dec. 5-9.
Organized with the support of the Southeast Overtown Parkwest (SEOPW) Community Redevelopment Agency, the fair continues to bring a vital and essential cultural service to the South Florida community, lending the Magic City a truly international flair.
A vibrant cultural legacy was established in Overtown, once known as the cultural hub of Miami. Hall has been committed to expanding upon on that legacy by promoting contemporary art from the global Black community.
Our Psyche and Thoughts
“Art stirs the soul and your imagination,” says Hall, visionary and licensed architect. “The visual arts are a critical aspect to all of us as human beings. It started with the caveman just sketching things. It is important to our psyche and thoughts.”
Black Art Matters: It’s Not a Choice explores how Black art has always been and still is about an intellectual, political, and artistic rereading, trying to think of the contemporary condition of peoples that have been involved in struggles to stay human. Black Art Matters unveils how the contemporary accommodates itself with oppression thus the necessity for Black proclamations of emancipation, independence, liberation, and revolution.
Art has always been a tool to claim space, build power, and to question the injustices that have shaped Black social experiences. In the world of art and culture, artists are responsible for offering the viewer a chance to challenge society by bringing new meaning to the way the world is perceived. Art Africa ensures that artist of the African and Black Diaspora have that platform.
The central idea of AAMAF is to present an array of visual works that pay homage to the centrality of Africa and its descendants’ contributions to the modern art world. Hall notes, “Many people are defined by the art they create.”
A Means to Development
The SEOPW Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has demonstrated a commitment to using as the arts as a means of economic development. From commissioning legendary artist Pervis Young to paint its major overpass to sponsoring the annual Overtown Music and Arts Festival, and being an original partner in AAMAF, the CRA uses these investments as opportunities to attract cultural tourists to the area and revitalize the CRA boundary.
“Art Africa has been a catalyst for the inclusion of Black Art in Overtown during Miami’s Art Basel Week,” said SEOPW CRA Executive Director Cornelius Shiver. “The fair’s presence continues to highlight the historic community of Overtown and the importance of infusing art, culture, and entertainment with our revitalization efforts.”
Artists of the 2018 Art Africa Miami Arts Fair include: Abiola Akintola, Andre Sptinger, Candice Saint Williams, Christina Nicola Dachi Cole, Emilio Martinez, Jasmine Murrell, Lyric Prince, Miles Regis Mx. Oops, Najee Dorsey, Papa Samba Ndiaye, Pozi Kolor, Rhea Leonard, Rudolph Kohn, Sienna Shields, Sim Malden, Tiana Reid, Turgo Bastien, Marvin Weeks,
What Black Art Means
Black art performs an educational function through graphic representations of human conditions from a variety of points of view and with different media. The 2018 edition of Art Africa Miami explores how Black art remains to be about the production of knowledge – the intellectual, political, and artistic rereading, and thinking about the contemporary condition of people that have been involved in struggles to maintain their humanity.
Black Art Matters because Black peoples’ lives matter and artists have always been central to this affirmation. For more, visit artafricamiamifair.com. Also follow on social media at IG-@artafricamia.